Category Archives: Literature and Translation

Religion in cinema and television

Clodagh Brook’s latest work, Screening Religions in Italy (2019), tackles a little-explored area: the role of Catholicism (but also of other religions) in the organisation, production and distribution of Italian film and television. Pollard (2008) and Garelli (2014), for example, have provided valuable summaries of what we know about the patterns of Italian religious belief and participation, electoral influence, relations between church and state, and so on, often considering in what respects Italy is becoming more religiously differentiated or perhaps even secular. But Brook tackles the detailed ways in which Catholicism – its icons, rituals and policies – has shaped the form and content of film-making in recent years, tracking its embedding across the public sphere and concluding that, surprisingly, its hold over the production and distribution of films has actually been strengthening since the 1990s.

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Art: high, low and mixed

The third issue (January 2020) of the open-access journal Modern Art of the Center for Italian Modern Art (New York), is dedicated to the proceedings of the conference “Methodologies of Exchange: MoMA’s Twentieth-Century Italian Art (1949)”. CIMA’s publications advance innovative scholarship in the area of twentieth-century Italian art and promote Italian modern artists who remain particularly understudied among US audiences. On a different front, the publication of Emma Barron’s book Popular High Culture in Italian Media 1950-1970: Mona Lisa Covergirl (Palgrave Macmillan 2018) has been very favourably received (Barron was one of the 2019 ACIS Save Venice Fellows). Here is the review  in the latest issue (2020) of the journal Modern Italy.

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ACIS Save Venice Fellowships 2020

ACIS is calling for applications for up to two ACIS Save Venice Fellowships for 2020. The Fellowships are based in Venice, open to postgraduate and early career researchers, cover the three months between mid-September and mid-December 2020, and are worth $8000 each. Fellows will be EITHER a current Masters or PhD candidate in any area of Italian Studies at an Australasian university OR a postdoctoral researcher in any area of Italian Studies within 3 years of successful completion of their Masters or PhD at an Australasian university. The Fellowship is designed for those researchers and scholars whose research and/or career can benefit in any way from a period in Venice and the use of the city’s substantial resources. ACIS expects that people working in the fields of History, Art History, Fine Art, Cultural and Media Studies, and Restoration and Museum Studies will be particularly interested, but applications will be welcome from any field across the humanities and social sciences. Further information about the Fellowships and the application process can be found here and on the page under Fellowships. The closing date for applications is 9 March, 2020.

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Mediating Italy in Global Culture

The Department of the Arts, University of Bologna, in collaboration with Brown University, Dickinson College, The University of Michigan, The Ohio State University and Wesleyan University, invites you to join us for the third edition of  the Mediating Italy in Global Culture Summer School, June 22-27, 2020 at the DAMSLab, Piazzetta P.P. Pasolini 5/b Bologna. The School is open to graduate and post-graduate students with a background in Media Studies, Film Studies, Italian Studies, Cultural Production, American Studies, and similar degrees and will investigate the forms of production, distribution, circulation, and reception contributing to the “mediation” of Italian audiovisual culture in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and other national contexts. On- and off-campus activities are both included. The cost of tuition and supplementary activities is €200 (accommodation, transportation and meals are not included). The application deadline is March 29 2020; applications are made online here.    Continue reading

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Remembering Primo Levi

As part of the initiative Primo Levi: Writer, Witness, Scientist which commemorates the centenary of Levi’s birth, Paul Forgasz will give a talk on Italia Ebraica: The Jews of Italy. A historical perspective, on Tuesday 19 November 2019, 6.30-8pm, at 199 Faraday Street, Carlton VIC 3053 (free event, RSVP essential here). The Italian Jewish narrative does not fit neatly into the conventional divisions of the Jewish Diaspora: Mizrahi (Middle Eastern/North African), Sephardi (Spanish) and Ashkenazi (Franco-German). Indeed, there are maps of the Jewish world in which Italy is depicted as a distinctive and unusually complex sub-culture. The Jewish community in Rome is one of the oldest surviving diasporas, its antiquity reflected in a distinctive Roman liturgical rite still in use today. Italy has also been home to an Ashkenazi community since the late Middle Ages, and then, in the wake of the expulsion from Spain in 1492, a Sephardi community. Rabbis and scholars thus lived within the boundaries of traditional Jewish communities whilst simultaneously contributing to the cultural and intellectual traditions of the wider society of which they were a part. Paul Forgasz will provide a survey of the very rich and variegated history of the Jews of Italy: from their earliest presence in Roman times, to the highs and lows of the medieval Jewish experience, through to Italian Jewry’’s encounter with modern world.    Continue reading

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The sense of place on page and screen

Two current talks emphasise the importance of the specific local setting for the central action in Italian fiction. First, Barbara Pezzotti (Monash) has begun a series of SBS podcasts on the Italian gialli (romanzi criminali) with a piece on gialli in Milan. She discusses the changing role of the city itself, first the centre, then the periphery, as portrayed by authors from Giorgio Scerbanenco (eg Traditori di tutti, 1966) to Rosa Teruzzi (eg La fioraia del Giambellino, 2017). Her forthcoming city-centred analyses will include Turin, Bologna and Rome. Second, Mark Nicholls (Melbourne) concludes his talks on classic Italian films – Roma città aperta (Rossellini, 1945), Ladri di biciclette (De Sica, 1948), La dolce vita (Fellini, 1959), Il conformista (Bertolucci, 1970) and Morte a Venezia (Visconti, 1971) – with a discussion of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore, 1988) on Tuesday 22 Oct 2019, 6.30-8pm. at 199 Faraday St, Carlton, VIC 3053 (free event – RSVP essential here). Tornatore’s depiction of small-town life in Sicily after 1945 is the essential background for understanding the place of cinema-going in the creation of collective memory and (often) nostalgia.

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Indelible/Indelebile Conference in Adelaide: associated events

The VPS Research Group has organised a number of free Italian events/performances open to the public and linked to its international interdisciplinary conference Indelible (Eng) / Indelebile (It) – Representation in the arts of (in)visible violence against women and their resistance, to be held at Flinders University at Victoria Square, Adelaide, on 23-25 October 2019. The links to the various options can be found on the conference webpage under ‘Visual and Performing Arts Events’. All events are part of La Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo/The Italian Language Week in the World and there is also another free performance (in Italian): Affabulazioni. Storie, fatti e fattacci, narrati da un Giullare pazzo e una Musicista con la testa fra le nuvole (in Italian). This performance is organised by the Italian Consulate in Adelaide at UniSA at 6.30pm on 23 October. Book online here through the eventbrite website which has details of the location.

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Where is Parnassus now?

Dear Muses? Essays in Poetry by Simon West (Puncher & Wattmann, 2019), a book of essays on Australian and Italian poetry, and especially on the presence of Classical and Renaissance literature in Austral­ia today, will be launched on Wed 9 Oct 2019, 6.30-8pm, at CO.AS.IT, 199 Faraday St, Carlton 3053. Does it make sense to invoke the Muses today? Few of us believe our poems will be better for praying to stola-clad women sitting on a mountain in Greece. Simon West asks the reader to consider the Muse as something more – a vehicle for acknowledging cultural legacies that radiate out from the past and into contemporary Australia. In addressing the Muses we talk to that inheritance. He examines our metaphors for reaching back after inspiration, imagining that heritage, rivers that nourish the red gums across floodplains. He ranges widely, bridging Classical and European interests with a celebration of Australian poets, while asking, always, where is Parnassus now? Continue reading

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Celebrating Italian Studies at UWA

The series of public lectures celebrating Italian Studies at UWA (where the first lectureship in Italian in Australia was established in 1929) continues. Following an introduction by John Kinder, the talks, which can be heard by clicking on the title links below, have been given by Robert Hollingworth (‘Shaping the invisible: Images reflected in music‘), Stefano Carboni (‘Venice and the Ottomans: A visual artistic journey between the Serenissima and Istanbul‘) and Susan Broomhall (‘Missing Magnificence: Tracing Catherine de Medici’s hidden cultural legacy‘). The series continues on 13 August, 6pm-7pm, Murdoch Lecture Theatre, UWA Arts Building, with a lecture by Catherine Kovesi on Italy and the Invention of Luxury. Luxury as a concept and practice has a long and often sordid past from which it has never entirely freed itself. Italy is at the heart of luxury throughout its chequered history, from its fifteenth-century definition and first articulations to its broader manifestations in present-day luxury brands and the untrammelled consumption of our age.

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Special issue of Fulgor “Intercultural Aspects of Translation, Interpreting and Communication”

Giorgione, La tempesta

Luciana d’Arcangeli and Tets Kimura, both of Flinders University in South Australia, have guest edited the latest issue (July 2019, v.6, no.1) of the journal Fulgor. Dedicated to “Intercultural Aspects of Translation, Interpreting and Communicating“, this issue showcases the work of postgraduate students, all of whom presented at the AUSiT National Conference held in Adelaide in November 2018. Apart from the introductory essay by the editors, and the article by Junko Ichikawa on the applicability of theory to the work of translation, of particular interest to Italian Studies is the analysis by Luisa Conte (RMIT) of a translation into English of a notarial deed dealing with the legal management of the estate of a recently deceased property owner in the city of Pisa and containing a detailed description of the estate, including its residential and business assets.

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